Erica's Essentials: Linen Napkins

Life in a one-room studio apartment comes with its compromises.  Dual-purpose furniture becomes a clutch way to make the space feel comfortable, and everyday living work.  Our large coffee table is now where we eat our meals at home, and what we also call the "dining table".  It's also where all of the remotes, gadgets and the occasional vase of fresh flowers live.

Of course, I would love a little kitchen bistro with bar stools that I would re-upholster, but there is just not enough room.  And one day, we will have an entire dining room for our formal meals, and where we will entertain guests with fun dinner parties!  But until then, I have taken what I had always thought was for special occasions, and turned it into a formal everyday occurrence...

Linen napkins are not only a fun way to brighten up a table setting, while making the dining experience feel formal, but it is also environmentally conscious.  The amount of water used to wash these cloth napkins doesn't compare to the constant garbage that builds up with disposable paper towels.  Also, if they are not soiled the can be used a few times before washing.  We use paper towels, but I push the linen napkins when it comes to dining at the coffee table in front of the television.  I try to class it up as much as I can :)

I showed a few sets of napkins that I had above (of course my JA's are preferred), but I always try to pick them up in complimentary patterns and colors when I'm out shopping - to keep the stock plentiful.  Mixing and matching can be fun when setting 4 or more!

The evenings that I am cooking the meal, even if it's just a weeknight I try to make it feel special.  I know that my presentation precedes my cooking ability - so I make sure to plate the dish to perfection, shake a little grated parmesan or parsley on top, and set the "table" with a bright napkin and tasty beverage!  Below is from an older post - look at all of that color!

I mentioned earlier that I always like to have fresh flowers on the coffee table.  I picked up this great bunch at Stem recently, a great local florist in my new neighborhood of Fort Greene.  

La vita è bella,

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